TODAY show co-host Savannah Guthrie said she’s worried about her upcoming stint as Jeopardy! guest host. That’s because Alex Trebek set the standards so high that fans are used to a level of excellence.
“I was so nervous because I really just wanted to show how much respect I have for Jeopardy! and Alex – who is a legend and an icon for a reason,” Guthrie told People magazine. “He’s the maestro. And I know those Jeopardy! fans are picky, but I have to say, I’m just the fill-in so don’t worry!”
Guthrie starts her two-week stint behind the game show’s lectern on Monday, June 14. She’s following actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik.
Jeopardy! producers and Sony executives say they’re using these guest-hosting duties as auditions, effectively. They plan to choose a replacement next month for Trebek, who died last year from pancreatic cancer, from the dozens of guest hosts they’ve used this season. That includes Ken Jennings, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Bialik among others.
Guthrie says whoever lands the coveted job will have “such big shoes to fill.”
“Alex was not only legendary in how he did it, but he was also legendary in how he conducted himself off-air and the family that he created. [He was] such a revered figure,” Guthrie said. “So, stepping into Alex’s shoes won’t be easy, but I think they’ve got some really good candidates. I’m not going to name names.”
Guthrie Will Raise Money for The Bowery Mission
Jeopardy! matches the total winnings during a guest hosts’ time on the show and donates that amount to a charity of their choosing. So far, the show has donated more than $1.5 million to several different groups.
Current guest host Mayim Bialik was able to raise nearly $100,000 in her first week for the National Alliance on Mental Health. Her complete total won’t be revealed until after Friday’s episode, which is her last.
But Guthrie chose a charity that would have been close to Alex Trebek’s heart. The TODAY show co-host is raising money for The Bowery Mission, which helps feed New York’s homeless and hungry. As well as provide other services for those in need.
Trebek and his wife Jean were both backers of Hope of The Valley Rescue Mission, which provided aid and social services to homeless people. The group recently opened the Trebek Center for the Homeless thanks to a $500,000 donation from Alex and his wife. The building will house 107 beds when it’s completed in December. Along with a warm bed, the center offers substance abuse counseling, job training and placement, and various mental health services.